Agerpres

Iran is giving a thumbs up to America and the European Union.  Israel is on the lookout

Since the coming to power of radical cleric Ebrahim Raisi, who was elected president in June, negotiations to reactivate the international nuclear deal with Iran have been stalled. In the period since then, Tehran has given the impression that it is wasting time and has no interest in resuming diplomatic efforts too soon, implying that the new Iranian leadership, anti-Western, will return to the negotiating table with a series of harsh conditions for Americans and Europeans. Meanwhile, the Israelis have lost their patience and are threatening a military intervention against Iran.

European Union envoys returned from Iran empty-handed in recent days, failing to secure a firm commitment from the new Tehran administration to resume negotiations for the reactivation of the International Nuclear Treaty with Iran, concluded in 2015 by China, France, Russia , The United Kingdom, the United States and Germany, through which the Iranians pledged to limit their atomic activities for a decade in exchange for easing international sanctions. However, the Iranians have promised to meet with European officials in Brussels in the coming weeks to discuss ways to resume negotiations in Vienna, but have not given an exact date.

A treaty drawn on the dead line

In 2018, under Israeli pressure, former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from this agreement, signed by his predecessor, Barack Obama, characterizing it as the most disastrous treaty ever concluded by his country, because it did not address the issue. the Iranian ballistic missile program, nor the support of the Tehran regime for terrorist groups in the Middle East. Since then, the agreement has lost its significance, and Iran has gradually begun to violate its terms. In January 2021, with the installation of the new US administration in power, President Joe Biden tried to reactivate the nuclear treaty by re-engaging the United States in this international agreement. Under EU mediation, negotiations were launched in Vienna to read the US and, implicitly, to unblock the diplomatic stalemate caused by the unilateral withdrawal of the Americans from the agreement.

With cannons on Tehran

In recent months, Tehran has accelerated its nuclear program, enriching its uranium to a higher level. According to international experts, Iran could build a nuclear bomb in just a few months. Under these conditions, the US, Israel and the EU have recently coordinated pressure on Tehran, warning that the time to reactivate the treaty limiting Iran’s nuclear activity has become extremely short.

As usual, Israeli leaders made sharp statements. “Every day that passes, every postponement of negotiations, brings Iran closer to the nuclear bomb. If a terrorist regime is about to obtain a nuclear weapon, we must act. We must be extremely clear that the civilized world will not allow this! ”Said the head of Israeli diplomacy, Yair Lapid, unequivocally. A possible military intervention by the Jewish state against Iran was also suggested by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. He implied that his country no longer has patience with Tehran, which is taking the time to develop its nuclear program. “The world is waiting, the Iranians are postponing, and the nuclear centrifuges are spinning!” Bennett remarked. The Israeli threat seems very real. According to a survey by the “Institute for Democracy in Israel”, 51% of Jewish Israelis believe that their country should have attacked Iran years ago, during the initial stages of its nuclear program, without waiting for a negotiation to be reached. Popular support for a forceful intervention is also reinforced by statements by General Aviv Kochavi, the head of the Israeli army, who recently announced that plans for military action against Iran have been “significantly accelerated.” For her part, in the voice of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was on a visit to Jerusalem last week, Germany claims that the stalemate in the nuclear negotiations is approaching the “decisive” moment.

Instead, the US is proving much more cautious about the outbreak of a possible armed conflict. “We are ready for other options, if Iran does not change its attitude, but we continue to believe that diplomacy is the most effective way,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Indeed, the last thing President Joe Biden needs now is a conflict between Israel and Iran, at a time when the White House is withdrawing from the Middle East to focus on China.

Iranian defiance

But the danger of war is obvious. Since his election as President of the country in June, Ebrahim Raisi has frozen negotiations in Vienna, promising to resume them “soon”. Moreover, the head of the Iranian negotiating team has even been named one of the opponents of the Nuclear Treaty. Raisi does not seem to consider the relaxation of international sanctions by reactivating the agreement a priority and is trying to recover the country’s economy by developing trade ties with Russia, China and even some Arab states. Tehran’s new “eastward” orientation, which could offset some of the impact of US sanctions, is likely to bring Iran back to the negotiating table with the US from a position of strength. And against the background of Israeli hostility, American duplicity and European hesitation, it is possible that Raisi did his calculations correctly.

“If a terrorist regime is about to obtain a nuclear weapon, we must act!”

Yair Lapid, Israeli Foreign Minister

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